Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

We read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader really quickly - in about 10 nights of reading. Again, it was very very good... I'm kind of sad that we only have two Narnia books left.

The Story: Lucy and Edmund are visiting with their unpleasant cousin, Eustace, when all three find themselves unexpectedly pulled out of our world, onto the deck of The Dawn Treader, set sail from Narnia with (among others) King Caspian and the brave mouse Reepicheep. They are out to explore the seas beyond Narnia, in search of seven lords who had been sent away when Caspian's dastardly uncle Miraz because they had shown support for Caspian when Miraz had been king. It was an amazing journey, with stops at many fantastical islands, in search, not only of the missing lords, but for the mythical country where Aslan comes from. Along the way, Eustace underwent some very good changes in character, due in no small part to a time when he was temporarilly transformed into a dragon. Will they reach the ends of the world? What will they find there, and along the way?

The Good: Just about everything in this book is good. The imagery is amazing. The islands are all so different and gorgeous, you wish you could go there yourself. The people they meet along the way are interesting and full of life. Evalina always wanted me to read more of the book than one chapter a night, and though I stuck to one chapter for the most part, I was swayed a couple times. There was very little violence in this book, which is nice, considering the battle-heavy scenes in the past couple books. It also got Evalina kind of excited to look at maps.

The Bad: Edmund, Lucy, and Caspian were really kind of background characters. Eustace and Reepicheep got a little more "page time." The real characters were the islands and the people they met along the voyage. This might be a disadvantage if you are really invested in the characters. If you are more into the adventure, there should be no problem for you. The ending was kind of abrupt, but I think that was more a problem for me than for Evalina. Since we jumped right into the next book, there was not too much of a problem.

The Verdict:
Loved it! Evalina loved it, too. She was quite concerned for Reepicheep, who had a tough decision at the end (and I am not going to spoil it for you), and kept asking about him through the book. She loved every moment that Aslan came into the story. She wanted to look at the map to try to figure out where they were. It was very cool. I would love to see a movie made of this one, if it could do it justice. The recommended age on Amazon is grade 4-8, but again, my 6 year old adored it. I think this is one of my favorites (and I keep saying that), because I love the voyage, more than I like the battles in the previous books. I think Evalina liked it more, too. It was really just wonderful.

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